Hostname: page-component-7479d7b7d-767nl Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-07-15T00:38:48.192Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Towards the Reconstitution of the Arreton Hoard: a Case of Faked Provenances

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 April 2011


The major Early Bronze Age hoard from Arreton Down in the Isle of Wight was made known to the Society of Antiquaries as early as 1735. Until recently however, half of the hoard had remained unlocated since 1737, when it was drawn by Charles Frederick. His drawings, which appear in the Society's MS 265, have been instrumental in relocating five of the missing bronzes; four of these were found to have acquired false provenances. This paper traces as far as possible the varied histories of ownership of the Arreton bronzes and in conclusion draws some lessons from the problem of uncorroborated provenances. For the first time the whole of the known hoard is illustrated together.

Research Article
Copyright © The Society of Antiquaries of London 1986

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Brett-James, N. G. 1926. Life of Peter Collinson (published privately).Google Scholar
British Museum 1920. A Guide to the Antiquities of theBronze Age (London).Google Scholar
Britton, D. 1961. ‘A study of the composition of Wessex culture bronzes’, Archaeometry, iv, 3952.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Britton, D. 1963. ‘Traditions of metal-working in the later Neolithic and Early Bronze Age of Britain, part I’,P.P.S. xxix, 258325.Google Scholar
Burgess, C. B. and Cowen, J. D. 1972. ‘The Ebnal hoard and Early Bronze Age metalworking traditions’, in Lynch, F. and Burgess, C. B. (eds.), Prehistoric Man in Wales and the West: Essays in Honour of Lily F. Chitty (Bath), 167–88.Google Scholar
Egerton, Ms 1041. Minutes of the Society of Antiquaries, vol. i, 1717–43. British Library.Google Scholar
Evans, J. 1881. The Ancient Bronze Implements, Weapons, and Ornaments of Great Britain and Ireland (London).Google Scholar
Fothergill, J. 1785. Some Anecdotes of the Late P. Collinson, Fellow of the Royal Society of Antiquaries, in London, and the Royal Society of Berlin and Upsala (London).Google Scholar
Franks, A. W. 1855. ‘Notes on bronze weapons found on Arreton Down, Isle of Wight’, Archaeologia, xxxvi,326–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gerloff, S. 1975. The Early Bronze Age Daggers in Great Britain, and a Reconsideration of the Wessex Culture, Prähistorische Bronzefunde, part vi, vol. 2 (Munich).Google Scholar
Greenwell, W., MSS. Handwritten manuscript notebooks: vol. 7, catalogue ofbronze implements. Department of Prehistoric and Romano-British Antiquities, British Museum.Google Scholar
Greenwell, W. And Brewis, P. 1909. ‘The origin, evolution and classification of the bronze spearhead in Great Britain andIreland’, Archaeologia, lxi, 439–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lawrence, G. F. 1929. ‘Antiquities from the Middle Thames’, Antiq. J. xxxvi, 6998.Google Scholar
Lort, Revd M. 1779. ‘Observations on celts’, Archaeologia, v, 106–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Megaw, B. R. S. and Hardy, E. M. 1938. ‘British decorated axes and their diffusion during the earlier part of the Bronze Age’, P.P.S. iv, 272307.Google Scholar
Montelius, O. 1909. ‘The chronology of the British Bronze Age’, Archaeologia, lxi, 97162.Google Scholar
Needham, S. P. 1979. ‘A pair of Early Bronze Age spearheads from Lightwater, Surrey’, in Burgess, C. B. and Coombs, D. (eds.), Bronze Age Hoards: Some Finds Old and New, B.A.R. 67 (Oxford).Google Scholar
Needham, S. P., Lawson, A. J. and Green, H. S. 1985. ‘Early Bronze Age hoards’, British Bronze Age Metalwork, Associated Finds Series, Ai-6, British Museum (London).Google Scholar
Piggot, S. 1938. ‘The Early Bronze Age in Wessex’, P.P.S. iv, 52105.Google Scholar
Piggot, S. 1947. ‘The Arreton Down Bronze Age hoard’, Antiq. J. xxvii, 177–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Proudfoot, E. 1963. ‘Report on the excavation of abell-barrow in the parish of Edmonsham, Dorset’, P.P.S. xxix, 395425.Google Scholar
Rye, W. (ed.) 1909. Catalogue of Antiquities (Norwich Castle Museum).Google Scholar
Sherwin, G. A. 1936. ‘Arreton Down bronze hoard’, Proc. Isle of Wight Nat. Hist. & Arch. Soc. ii, pt. 7, 612–13.Google Scholar
Sherwin, G. A. 1942. ‘A second bronze hoard of Arreton Down type found in the Isle of Wight’, Antiq. J. xxii, 198201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sloane Ms 4054. Letters to Sir Hans Sloane, vol. xix. British Library.Google Scholar
Sloane MS 4055. Letters to Sir Hans Sloane, vol. xx. British Library.Google Scholar
Sloane MS 4054. Letters to Sir Hans Sloane, vol. xix. British Library.Google Scholar
Sloane MS 4055. Letters to Sir Hans Sloane, vol. xx. British Library.Google Scholar
Society Of Antiquaries Ms 265. Society of Antiquaries Minut E Book, Vol. ii, 26th October 1732-3ist March 1737.Google Scholar
Sotheby's Sale Catalogue, 24th June 1856.Google Scholar
Catalogue of the Collection of National Antiquities formed by Mr Whincopp of Woodbridge, Suffolk (London).Google Scholar
Sotheby's, Sale Catalogue, 8th-15th May 1872.Google Scholar
Catalogue of the Collection of Purnell B. Purnell of Stancombe Park, Gloucestershire (London).Google Scholar
Stephen, L.(ed.) 1887. Dictionary ofNational Biography, xi.Google Scholar
Way, A., MSS. Miscellaneous drawings of antiquities by Albert Way, mid to late nineteenth century. Society of Antiquaries MS 700, London.Google Scholar